THE INSIDER - Website, Polling - To Influence
Present and Future Jurors?
Other stories on survey of movie goers at http://www.tobacco.org
EXCERPTS from Sun-Sentinel,
Nov 10, 1999
By TRACY FIELDS, Associated Press
polling of movie patrons an effort to influence jurors in tobacco trial,
MIAMI (AP) -- A tobacco company's website and efforts to find out what moviegoers think of "The Insider" are attempts to influence jurors who will decide whether sick Florida smokers deserve damages from cigarette makers, the smokers' lawyer said Tuesday.
The movie tells the story of whistle-blower Jeffrey Wigand, former head of research at cigarette maker Brown & Williamson, and efforts to air his accusations that the company lied about the dangers of smoking on CBS' "60 Minutes."
"We have reached a level of outrageousness that is beyond belief," said Stanley Rosenblatt, attorney for the class of Floridians suing over illnesses they blame on smoking. He filed a motion regarding defendant Brown & Williamson's surveying of theater patrons and lengthy website rebuttal of the movie.
Naples Daily News, Nov. 9, 1999
by TRACY FIELDS, Associated Press
Tobacco trial resumes with Florida Supreme Court action pending
MIAMI - Attorneys involved in a multibillion-dollar lawsuit by sick Florida smokers against cigarette makers are working on two fronts: in Circuit Court daily and in the state Supreme Court on the side.
Florida justices gave Stanley and Susan Rosenblatt until Nov. 15 to respond to an industry request last week that the power to order a huge punitive damage award be taken from the Miami jury.
The request came from companies named in the class-action lawsuit, which produced a landmark verdict in July saying cigarettes are defective and dangerous and that smoking makes people sick.
Once the Rosenblatts respond, the industry will have until Nov. 22 to reply. The justices will determine after that whether to consider the matter.
If the high court grants the
the jury could award punitive damages to only two cancer victims, Mary
Farnan and Frank Amodeo, 30-year smokers whose damage claims are now
before the jury.
Instead of facing a dollar award capable of crippling the industry, cigarette makers could be required to pay something more digestible in the millions.
Added 11 November 1999